Apple sends S&P and Nasdaq futures higher

Apple shares were up more than 2 per cent in trading before the bell

Apple gains sent S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures higher amid signs it was diving into the self-driving car technology sector.

Shares of Apple were up more than 2 per cent in trading before the bell after it was reported that the iPhone maker was moving forward with self-driving car technology and was aiming to produce a passenger vehicle by 2024.

Wall Street indexes ended well above intraday lows as Congress approved a $892bn stimulus package to help the economic impact of the coronavirus.

However, fears over a new virus strain in the UK have halted recent gains and are likely to weigh on sentiment going into the holidays.

Trading activity is also expected to be subdued in the final two weeks of the year.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.5 points, or 0.15 per cent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 51.75 points, or 0.41 per cent, in the early morning.

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Meanwhile, Tesla rose slightly after falling more than 6 per cent on its first day of trading as part of the S&P 500 on Monday.

Investors are awaiting a final reading of third-quarter GDP data at some point today. 

Apple declined to comment on its car plans or future products, but said that the pandemic could push the start of the new car production project into 2025 or beyond.

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